Investing in my passion and turning it into a side hustle saved my sanity during the pandemic.
The two year anniversary of the pandemic is here, and it is hard to forget how isolating that period of time was for me as someone who loves to socialize and meet new people. The lockdown made it difficult for me to connect with others, as it did for many, but it pushed me into my newly-found passion project: online reselling and giving pre-loved items a new life.
While I had started a small side hustle on online marketplace Poshmark a few months before the pandemic, the lockdowns of the “first wave,” as we know it, allowed me to dig into my online business and keep busy when I had lost much of my positivity and morale. I soon found out how valuable the Poshmark community is, and how much it helped me mentally, emotionally and financially. In pouring my heart and soul into something, it gave me so much to look forward to! I had money coming in, connected with new buyers, and experienced the motivation of becoming a Posh Ambassador – there was so much to keep me excited about each day. Crazy enough, I even found a new friendship with someone I connected with on Poshmark during the pandemic. I like to call her my “PFF” (Posh Friend Forever), and we are planning to finally meet in person soon.
It’s incredibly exciting for me to look back and see how much my business has grown on Poshmark, and how much I’ve grown personally! At the end of last year, I got to see the fruits of my labour pay off when I was the Canadian recipient of the Poshmark Heart and Hustle grant. This win – created to recognize and empower entrepreneurs and dream chasers who believe and demonstrate that heart and hustle go hand-in-hand – meant a lot of things for me. It meant I was being seen for all of the hard work I had already invested. It meant I could continue to grow my business using the money I was granted through Poshmark’s community fund. Most importantly, it really validated my decision to follow my passion. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this much success. And the thing is, anyone can do it, too.
A Family Affair
I don’t think I am alone in saying that my family really helped me get through the pandemic, and what was great was that Poshmark became a shared activity between all of us. At first, my kids (18 & 13) were worried, wondering why I was taking so much valuable real estate within our home for clothing, especially at a time when our home was the only place we could go amidst lockdowns! But as they started to see the benefits of my Poshmark selling and how the sales were having a direct, positive impact on their lives, they started to get involved. From a new cabana in the backyard, to major home renovations, our family is thriving as a result of my side hustle! Plus, I’m not lost on the fact that they are at an age where kids may not want to spend as much time with their family, but I am impressed every time they jump to help out when I need a few extra hands, knowing that they get to contribute to seeing my passion flourish. What’s really exciting is that they’ve also seen the value of shopping secondhand, and have moved away from spending as much on fast-fashion pieces.
And as much as my family helped me, I think I helped them too. My thriving business has inspired my niece to start her own Poshmark closet. She has now made over 200 sales, a source of income that has helped her immensely.
That’s what it’s all about. What I am all about. Helping people. Whether it’s giving advice, lending moral support or sparing some extra inventory to get someone off the ground. I have found my way to give back in a way that serves my need for social connection. It’s a win-win!
How to Hack the System – find something you love and it doesn’t feel like work
Taking this time to reflect on the past two years, my biggest takeaway is how grateful I am to have found something that makes money, but never feels much like work. I had always heard about that, but now I am really living it! Often, my friends will ask me how I find so much time to work (often packing 70 orders or more within a few days). I simply reply that it’s something I truly enjoy and look forward to doing when I wake up each morning – and being able to make a living off of it is just the cherry on top of being able to do something that is fun and fulfilling every day.
With Poshmark, my next sale will be just as exciting to me as my first sale. I love that I get to make extra cash and help prevent clothes from going into landfills. As part of the Poshmark community, I also get to inspire others and connect with new people across the country. I never thought I’d be able to do so much from my own home!
My best advice for someone on the brink of starting a side hustle: whatever it is that you choose to pursue, make sure it really excites you and gets you out of bed. Make sure it’s something that keeps you going, no matter what is going on in the world. Because that’s exactly what mine did for me.
Written By: Sylvia Booth